Thames Valley Police to build state-of-the-art forensics centre

A move designed to keep the force at the “cutting edge of forensics”
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Thames Valley Police has announced plans to construct a state-of-the-art centre for forensics analysis.

The new site that will be constructed in Bicester would become the hub for forensic analysis throughout the policing area.

Today (10 February), police confirmed plans to build a new property containing laboratories, hi-tech machinery, and training facilities.

Current design plans for the state-of-the-art siteCurrent design plans for the state-of-the-art site
Current design plans for the state-of-the-art site

Over the next three years the police are planning to invest significantly into improving forensics in the Thames Valley.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber said: “The programme is the result of a review of Thames Valley Police’s forensics services as a whole where we’ve identified the need to modernise facilities and increase capacity.

“In a world of rapidly advancing technology, ensuring the police stay on the cutting edge of forensics is crucial to keeping the public safe.

“Whether crimes such as burglaries, sexual offences or digital crimes the police need to get ahead of the criminals.

“In addition to the increased number of community police officers already announced as part of this year’s budget the significant investment in forensics, including the new centre at Bicester, will improve the speed and quality of investigations by those frontline officers across Thames Valley to help deliver justice for victims and ultimately help to cut crime.”

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Cherwell District Council authorised the project yesterday, subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement.

It will be constructed on force-owned land near Avonbury Business Park on Howes Lane.

Construction is expected to begin next summer and it will be operational by the end of 2024 or early 2025, according to current police projections.

It is hoped that site will allow investigating officers to get access to digital evidence more quickly.

The new technology used should enable experts to examine evidence at a faster rate.

More staff will also be recruited to work at the brand new centre.

Kay Hannam, Head of Forensic Services at Thames Valley Police, said: “Forensic science can be the key to an investigation, in getting a case to court and delivering a timely outcome for the victim."